Painting and drawing: 2013–2017

This page shows examples of work done while studying the methods of Harold Speed, Alfred East, Charles Bargue, Charles Cecil, Marc Dalessio and other classical and outdoor painters.

These years of private study included a portraiture course at Charles Cecil Studios (in Florence in 2015) taught by Nicholas Beer, and a course in outdoor painting taught by Marc Dalessio and Daniela Astone in Chianti in 2017.

Along with learning painting methods (sight-size, umber/white value studies, four-colour palette, use of black mirror, daily composition drawing, painting and drawing from memory etc), studies involved making painting medium with linseed oil thickened in the sun, brush care for hogs and sables, and making portable painting gear of all sorts, that didn't require a Clarice Beckett wagon to haul around.

I also studied methods and materials of Robert Henri and John Sloan (Maratta palette etc), and gloss medium and palette used by Fairfield Porter. These experiments can be seen in some of the outdoor paintings and single session still lifes and portraits below.

The photo was taken by Darren Clayton on a trip we made to the giant sand dunes in Lancelin, to paint and take photos in conditions of high glare and low contrast. Hanging unwrapped from the easel is a roll-up brush carrier I whipped up on the Husqvarna, better than ones I could find to buy.

Still life/interior studies:

Drapery studies using a shadow box:

Copies of masterworks (Velázquez and Bernini):

Single session self-portraits:

Sight-size portraits (four-colour palette); Chris, Andy and Richard:

Bargue drawings; Selections from the Bargue course:

Alfred East sky studies:

Exercise: Paint a picture of the sky every day for six months. Spend at most thirty minutes on each study, with no revisions later.

"You will find at the end of six months that you know something of its variations." (Alfred East)

180 sky studies, painted daily:

Studies outdoors in Western Australia and Chianti:

Painting from memory; Charles Street church hall and Venice:

Drawing from memory; Daniela's house in Mercatale:

Drawings outdoors in Western Australia, Chianti and Venice:

Thirty-minute dog studies:

Thirty-minute portraits; Sarah and Louis:

Single session still lifes: